We Just Keep Walking Blind // Snowbarry Week
Theme // Jealous
It takes about a single week for Barry to get used to the fact that Ronnie is back, single-minded and completely his own person, for good (or a highly probable version of for good). He hasn’t seen Caitlin keep a smile without straining in all the time that he’s known her, until now. And this, coupled with the assurance that General Eiling is miraculously distracted with another metahuman across the country, which he is placing at a higher priority than Ronnie, cuts the tension in half at the Labs.
It’s when Caitlin confides in Barry about a secret wedding that something is suddenly fully charged about the air around them again. He convinces himself that it must be because of the way she just lights up about it finally happening, even if it’s much less of what it was supposed to be, a complete cover-up from all their loved ones. All she knows is, and all he sees is, the fact that she’s incurably all smiles about making the most of her new life with her deceased-on-paper fiancé.
‘We used to go to his parent’s lake house in the middle-of-nowhere Colorado when we first started dating, just to get away from the city and all the noise. It was nice, simple.’ She sighs, the upward curl of her lips softening. ‘We’d bring his family dog with us too, and it’d be like we were in our own little world.’
‘That sounds great, Cait,’ he says, wary of the waning cheerfulness in her voice.
‘And looking more and more like a far-fetched dream now.’ She folds her arms to her front.
'You don’t have to dream anymore,’ he tells her, hoping his brightness will distract her from the frown that tugs at the corners of her mouth. He can’t believe how much the thought of her losing the gleam in her eyes shakes him to his center. 'He’s alive…and he wants to be with you. Some people have a lot less.’
She does frown, but it seems that she’s not worried so much about herself here. Then he realizes that the sudden, but not so surprising end to his short-lived fling with Linda Park had very much to do with his last remark.
He has to be honest here; he only wishes he had someone special like Caitlin to come home to, especially with the way she cared for Ronnie, let alone fantasize about a getaway home for two.
'It would be impossible for someone like you to be lonely for long,’ she says as though she’s stunned by his obliviousness.
'Tell that to the queue of girls lining up to be with me.’
'You don’t need a queue,’ she chides. Then lists, 'You were the first person to really take a good look at me and realize that I haven’t been happy since the explosion, when I thought I lost everything. You were the only person to help me face my fears in the accelerator, and, that night, I didn’t know how lonely I was until you made me feel that I wasn’t anymore. You took me out on a wild night, even when I was literally dragging you through all these bottled up issues you didn’t need to know. You’ve been amazing, you are amazing. Barry, you deserve someone who sees you the way I see you.’
'My own personal doctor and life coach. How’d I get to be so lucky?’ He ducks his head, and noticeably flushes when he finally rises to show an appreciative grin.
'You’re not the only lucky one…thank you. I don’t think I say that enough. Without you, I feel like a lot of what’s happened in my life would have remained impossible,’ she says, reaching for his arm.
Like any of the touches they’ve shared, there’s a steady pull toward more time spent in comfortable silence. This silence is only broken by a few scattered half-laughs and stunted phrases, but she’s still holding on, and he’s letting her. Though soon, just like clockwork, they’re pulled apart, and they’re reminded of where and who they are.
'Yo, Bar,’ Cisco blares over the Labs’ P.A. system. 'Armed robbery at the old bank on the corner of Captiol and Spruce. There’s 10 hostages.’
His arm somehow feels foreign as he dashes away. It’s a mix of being acutely aware of the spot she’s held and left warm, and something wholly new slipping away with every racing step he takes further from her.
That same night, Barry dreams as he always does. Of Joe telling him he forgot to wear pants to the precinct. Of Iris bringing him coffee and a kiss, until Eddie swoops her away. Of Dr. Wells being the presenter for an award just for him for something outstanding and worth a roaring applause from crowds of people. Of the interior of a wood cabin. Well, that’s new.
The cabin sticks longer than any of the other images. As he makes his way through darkened hallways, padding over hardwood floors, he reaches a familiar sight. Caitlin is beaming at him from the couch she’s lounging in, feet tucked under her, looking cozy in a fur-lined blanket. Then she tells him to come closer to the warmth of the fireplace she’s seated next to.
Wrapping her arms around his neck as he lies, pressing his back to the curve of her body, feels so natural. He only questions it once before he lets her dip her head low and place a kiss at the nape of his neck.
'Barry…hun,’ she hums into his shoulder. 'Did you feed Einstein?’
He turns so he can see her shift her weight over him, her head now resting on his chest, their legs content in a tangle.
'Barry?’ She tries again, finally tilting her head up, her chin propped over his sternum, tickling him some.
He smirks at her brows knit into a light frown, complimented with a blossoming pout. She’s possibly wondering why he’s still not answering her. It’s cute, and all of her and all of this is so incredibly surreal that he can’t help but let out a puff of nervous laughter. But, she waits longer for his response as the vibrato in his laughter moves her into the morning light, and he’s sobered by all the warm hues he’s suddenly made aware of in her eyes. He’s never seen her this close, felt her this close, he realizes, gulping consciously. How can this dream feel so impossibly real and solid? How are her hands, exploring and carding through his hair, making him feel like his actual heart is losing it’s natural rhythm? When he finally takes in her amused smile, wide and easy, he has to tell her, ‘You’re beautiful.’
'Mr. Allen…what’s going on with you?’ She asks, suspicious instead of grateful.
'This is just so…’ He really can’t find the words.
'Mr. Allen?’ Her voice suddenly doesn’t fit her sunny smiles; it’s tunneled and warped.
Then she’s just as beautiful as a middle-aged grouch with a receding hairline.
'Singh!’ Barry jolts, holding on to his desk’s pegs for balance from his teetering chair. 'I mean, sir.’
'Easy, kid.’ Detective Singh almost looks gleeful at his almost-spill. 'Got those lab results processed for the O'Connell case?’
Barry rummages while Singh bristles through his excuses, telling him he’ll need them in three hours and to tidy up his work area instead. It’s surprising that the detective is letting him off with an extension. Is he still dreaming?
It’s not until Singh brightens his lab area with fluorescence that his high hopes with getting away with dozing off at work quickly dissolve. That and, ‘Wouldn’t want dream girl ‘Cait’ to keep you from any more of your work.’
Barry actually spills from his seat this time.